This entry contains spoilers for the Firefly episode ‘War Stories.’ Read at your own risk.
Even though the rest of the world has been singing its praises for lo these many years, I was unaware of the Firefly series until Mark gave it to me for my birthday back in November.
I love it, of course. Cool, well-developed characters, strong women (and men), interesting situations, quirky humour, handsome men. It’s very much my thing and I’ve watched the episodes several times over since November.
The Man and I watched one of my favourites the other day. As someone in a lovely, strong relationship, I like to see good relationships on screen.
TV marriages seem to be all about stereotypes, nagging shopping women, lazy stupid men and people who can no longer even be kind to each other. I hate that.
Zoe and Wash, in Firefly, don’t have that sort of thing. They seem like real people in a strong relationship. Even though they have their disagreements, they have an almost visible bond, and they enjoy each others’ company (ahem). It’s refreshing to see that and I like any episode shows new aspects of their relationship.
So in the episode we watched the other night (War Stories), Wash is feeling jealous of Zoe’s history with the Captain (Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds – mmmm!) and they have a disagreement. As a result, Wash ends up on a mission with Mal and they get captured and tortured.
Zoe comes to rescue them and the villain (Niska) plans to cause further agony by making her choose whether to rescue the Captain or her husband. She hands over some money and the exchange goes like this:
NISKA (cont’d): Not enough for two. But sufficient, perhaps, for one.
She looks at him. Sees where this is going.
NISKA (cont’d) :So you now have a question to make an answer. It is for you, pretty lady, and only you, now to ch–
ZOE (cuts him off): Him.
She points at Wash. Niska’s a bit thrown.
ZOE (cont’d) I’m sorry. You were going to ask me to choose, right? Didja wanna finish?
Off Niska, open-mouthed, still back at the not-being-able-to- get-his-sentence-out moment —
Now clearly there is more going on here that ‘Zoe loves her husband’ – the Captain can probably withstand the torture better, he’d probably tell her to take Wash instead of him, she would want to settle the bad feelings from earlier and so on. But she didn’t hesitate, she just picked her husband.
To me that came across like: Sure, she is loyal to the Captain but Wash is her HUSBAND. He’s the man she chose to marry, the man she loves, and that goes beyond loyalty , beyond the logical decision, it goes right to the heart. And I love to see that sort of genuine, strong feeling portrayed on screen.
Sometimes one of my sons will do something that mirrors a habit of my husband’s and he will look at me with an apology in his eyes because I have to deal with a double (or triple) dose of whatever the habit is. And I look right back at him and say ‘With the kids, I had to take what I got, but I CHOSE you, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So them being like you? Not a problem.”
That’s what a good marriage feels like. I’ll take it.
*See why I like this show? the dame comes to the rescue!